Remember how mom always said that Santa Claus knew everything? And you wondered how it was possible that he knew, like, really everything? The credit reporting bureaus make Santa Claus look ignorant; they do know everything—and they can make a really good guess about what you’re going to buy for Christmas, too. A credit reporting bureau’s business is, quite literally, to know everything about your financial habits. And in today’s busy world, if something isn’t related to financial habits, it’s probably not something you mind discussing with the neighbors. Credit reporting bureaus receive regular information from an enormous variety of sources, including merchants, banks, credit unions, courts, collection agencies, rental organizations, finance companies, title companies, and even other credit reporting bureaus. All that information ends up in your credit report. If you think you can pull off a cute financial trick and leave no one the wiser—think again. You might fool your spouse; you won’t fool the credit reporting bureau.